More on the Big Boy 844

“Al… I just saw Richard, from Utah, posted a nice video of the great UP BigBoys excursion to Utah.

When I was in Cheyenne, WY last May, I had the opportunity to tour the maintenance facility in Cheyenne as they were refurbishing 4014 and 844.

The included photos show 844 almost ready and the unassembled 4014 nearing assembly time. The massive size of just the boiler was awesome. The day we were there every square inch of the boiler was being checked for cracks and thinned spots.

The boiler was gridded off and a chart reflected finished sectors. The sheer size of the main trucks just boggles the mind. Again those are in the foreground of the boiler pic. A really nice closeup of the cab shows the complexity of what it takes to tell the behemoth to move.


big boy boiler

“Al, don’t know if you have seen any of these, or are even interested in them.

They were taken by my cousin in Evanston Wyoming earlier this month. First outing for the 4014 since the rebuild. Had traveled to Ogdon Utah as part of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869.


Big boy 4014

Big Boy loco 4014

Big Boy loco 4014

And Brian has been in touch again with some more pics (his last post is here).

“Hi Alister,

I have not been active for a while as my eyesight is not as it should be. Have not been able to do fine work, only in short periods of time like an hour per day. (Get a headache and eye strain if longer).

In the meantime, have been doing electrical work on lighting buildings and switches for them. (An hour at a time)

I will do a write up on the harbor build a bit later explaining how to from start to finish of it.

All the best


Have really enjoyed the pics and videos of the Big Boy – they really do show how the loco got its name.

Can’t wait for Brian’s next instalment too – I do love his stuff.

That’s all for today folks. Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to start your model railway journey today.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

10 Responses to More on the Big Boy 844

  1. Robert Brady says:

    LOVE big boy, there’s more switches,gages,valves,buttons etc then any of today’s modern Locomotives.. How did they see where they were going? Sorry for the wild life.
    Robert B

  2. My uncle who lived in Casper wyoming, was engineer on one of the Big Boy’s on the run over Sherman Hill.

  3. Barry S Pearlman says:

    Sorry for not ever having been around the west and huge locomotives. My only experiences have been in the National Museum Of Transportation which has multiple locos in several stages of rebuild by the volunteers from the local clubs; some are functional.. If you are ever in St. louis and want to kill 1/2 a day, perhaps you might want to go see it.

    When we were there, there was a couple standing in the middle of the tracks, he in his tuxedo and she in her wedding gown getting married. Now there are a couple of enthusiasts!

    The only other loco I have ever been close to was at the museum in Washington D.C. in one of the Smithsonian buildings. The main drive wheels were somewhere around 6′ tall. I asked the guard how did they get something that large inti the building?

    He replied that they floated it down the Potomac on a barge, laid tracks down the main street, then drove it into the building that it resided in and put the final wall up!

  4. James Volmer Sr says:

    Love the Big Boy Engines. Was excited to hear that they were rebuilding 4014, and to see it in action today is amazing. On youtube there is a video of the startup of 4014 and the first whistle since it’s rebuild, if is was amazing.
    I have an HO Big Boy that I will be working on for my layout. The plan is to install DCC and Sound, that will come this fall.

  5. Roger Calhoun says:

    Union Pacific 844 is a 4-8-4 “Northern” type steam locomotive. The 1404 is the 4-8-8-4 Big Boy. The title is a bit confusing for those not familiar with these engines. I happen to own a Rivarossi Big Boy so this rankled a bit.

  6. Love, love, LOVE the Big Boys!!!! Wish one would work on my layout. Also would love to see them up close and personal!!

    On a side note, I bought some of the print out structures and a few refer to John’s How to Videos, where would I find those please?

  7. Joe Gennari says:

    Thanks for sharing, GREAT PICTURES! Wish I had a chance to see a BIG BOY in action!!!
    And I agree with Robert…. Inside the cab is a MAZE…WOW

  8. Colin says:

    Well done Brian. The night shots look very realistic. Keep it coming but just watch the eyesight.
    Colin Scotland

  9. Andrew Aves says:

    Wow! What complex controls – Thanks for sharing – Andrew

  10. For those on the “right” side of the USA, I believe there is a Big Boy in Steamtown near Scranton, PA on static display. Standing next to it gives a sense of its power!

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